Thursday, August 18, 2011

I've Lived Behind All Of Them

As the remaining days of living in this country decrease, my desire to photograph things that relate to living here increases.  This time it's things that pertain specifically to me.  I decided to take a picture of every door that I have lived behind since my family moved to Ephrata, PA about 22/23 years ago (yeah, I have lived in one town for that long...though I've lived in five different building in that one town).  I didn't photograph bedroom doors,  but I did include both the Royer's Building door (which is an apartment building) as well as the single apartment door that I lived behind inside of that apartment building.

It is rather crazy to think of the people that I have lived with in each building, and what it is that they are doing with their lives now.  It is even more crazy to actually really think about it: I realized that I work for the same company as half of the people that I have lived with (that I am not related to); none of the people that I have lived with currently live more than 20 minutes away; I have known everyone I have ever lived with for at least ten years; and really, the people I have lived with (with just an addition of maybe two people) are the only people I really care about seeing before I leave the country for a year. 

Here are those doors, in chronological order...

One Door To Another
The first one was the house my parents had built for my family to live in.  I spent 17 years there.  That one was a home.  After I started college, I decided to move out and live with two close friends, with my then-girlfriend/now-wife coming and going due to her own college life.  We lived in the Royer's Building, apartment 211 (the front of Royer's is the second picture, our apartment door is the third).  This is the building I was living in when I came up with my name for my photography project (the only empty space in the apartment building parking lot was always next to a guy whose license plate said HECTOR...and thus next2hector...the place I would park).  That apartment was so much fun.  We lived above a Chinese restaurant and I recall one night everyone really wanted to get food from it.  The only problem being that we had walked to our local Wal-Mart and though it wasn't too far away, it was ten minutes before the restaurant closed.  I was the chosen one that had to run all the way there, order everyone's food and wait for it to be made by disgruntled employees that had already cleaned the kitchen.  Also, our Christmas tree was covered in left over Halloween decorations from a dollar store since we were all poor.  It was the best we could do...also it was pretty rad.  Those two friends went to Japan for a little over a month and my wife and I decided instead of paying double for rent, we would move in with two other close friends (door four).  While living behind door four, we got engaged and while planning for our wedding decided we wanted to get our own place...enter door five...a tiny two story apartment with a single room on each floor.  The downstairs was a kitchen and a living room in one, and the upstairs was a bedroom and tiny bathroom.  The cost for heating the place was too much in the we turned the heat off.  We had a winter of ice cold showers and electric heaters under the blankets in bed with us.  We somehow survived and in doing so collected some awesome "early married life" stories. Soon, we started making a little more money.  And we got a cat.  So we needed more space...there was more space behind door six, so we made it our own.  We found out that we would be moving to Northern Ireland from behind this door and we have been slowly moving things out of door six since.  We are almost done with the moving.  We are almost ready for door seven.

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